Waiting on the bus to leave Punta for Montevideo I spotted these two young women saying goodbye. They held on to one another for a long time, saying endearments to one another (I imagine). Just before breaking off contact they jumped up and down and tightened their hug.

Have you ever seen the movie, Love Actually? It opens at an airport with arrivals, friends and family rushing into one another’s arms, all smiles and tears, and children’s squealing delight. Just thining about it brings tears to me. The rest of the movie is good too.

South Americans are demonstrative. Women walk hand-in-hand. Men unabashedly kiss one another on the cheek in greeting and hug. New acquaintances reach for you, pull you in, and plant a kiss on your cheek.


Now we are in Montevideo, arriving yesterday afternoon around 4:45, around a half hour later than scheduled. No problem for us, but our host expected us earlier and seemed really rushed to orient us to the apartment. Aaaah. This apartment. It is new and clean and airy and spacious; and has reliable and fast wifi. What a pleasure – and a pearl. This is a place that makes you wonder if maybe you shouldn’t stay just a little bit longer. Or aplace that makes you wonder if maybe you shouldn’t have spent just a little bit more in BsAs.

Our first evening here couldn’t have gone any better. A stroll through Parque Rodó and then to the Ramblas before heading off to find dinner.


A view of the Rio de la Plata that illustrates just how wide it is. Widest in the world – have probably mentioned that. It doesn’t fail to invoke wonder each time I see it, though. Argentina is across that expanse.


Not sure what to do about dinner, I suggested heading to Escaramuza, a bookstore and café. BTW, doesn’t the name Escaramuza remind you of Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody?   “Scaramouche, scaramouch, will you do the fandango?” I’d read about it and our host mentioned that it was in the neighborhood. I figured there would likely be other restaurants in the neighborhood if it turned out to be pastries and coffee.

Well, it was another pearl. We sat outside under the canopy of a wildly tangled vine. Bife de ojo (ribeye) was on the menu as well as my mind and soon ended up in my belly. The sweet note that ended dinner – flan de dulce de leche. Swoon. So creamy, so delicate of caramel flavor, so dense and smooth on the tongue. Yes, you want some. And the coffee – a cortado – the best yet in terms of ripe, round satisfaction.

I didn’t get any good photos of the place, except for one of the many collages.


Strolling back to the apartment we heard drumbeats and were inexorably pulled toward them. We came upon a large group, drummers and dancers, taking up the width of the street. They moved slowly, the drummers with faces of serious concentration; the dancers with smiles of ecstasy. Beer was passed around among friends. Friends met friends on the sidewalk and danced over for a kiss. As I dancingly joined the group, I was pulled into the middle by a lovely woman who gave me a lesson in the particular step they were using. Charlie got a few photos and a video.img_20190201_222203534_burst0011725561005872374425.jpg

We stayed with them as they got to the corner and headed up the next block. Not knowing how far they were going, we almost abandoned the desfile. But something tugged at me and so we stayed. It broke up at the end of the next block. If I understood my dance instructor correctly, this takes place year round, every other night in all the barrios. What I’m not sure of is, every other night all week or just on the weekend? I know I’ll be listening for it on Sunday evening.

Time to start making a move to hit the town. Yoga first.

Loves you. Paula



5 thoughts on “Pearls

  1. Jim February 2, 2019 / 5:29 am

    Sounds great!


  2. Myron Klein February 3, 2019 / 9:19 am

    Hi There! Loved the recent video Charlie took of the street dancing. Calls back memories of All Saints Day celebrated in Salvador Bahia Brazil every Tuesday night of the year when samba drumming groups of up to one hundred gather to pound out their rhythm as a flock of dancers fallow along in the narrow streets. All sounds wonderful for you both…Continue to enjoy!


    • pgsteele4 February 3, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      Hi, Myron. They say they practice all year for carnival. Today some were at the Sunday market drumming and passing the hat. I’ve been wondering – do you still drive back and forth to Guatemala? Those were good trips.


  3. margoanne maher February 4, 2019 / 7:25 pm

    oh Paula….I was with you all through this one! From the deeply felt embracing gals through the street dancer embracing and teaching you. Wow! C the pics and video were perfect!


    • pgsteele4 February 6, 2019 / 7:15 am

      Margo – thanks so much for your comments. I love that you are along for the journey through our ramblings.


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